GE Aviation Tapped For H-53E Engine Reliability Improvement | US-Led Coalition Leaves Abu Ghraib | Australian Seahawk Starts LHD TrialsApr 10, 2020 05:00 UTC
GE Aviation won a $9.7 million contract modification, which procures non-recurring engineering for the phase two assembly planning effort for the re-start of T-64 engine core production in support of the H-53E Engine Reliability Improvement Program. The deal funds the phase two assembly planning effort for the GE T64 is a turboshaft engine used in both fixed-wing aircraft and in helicopters, for which it was originally developed. It powers the CH-53E Super Stallion. The Super Stallion is a heavy-lift helicopter operated by the US Navy and Marine Corps as well as the Japanese Navy. Work will take place in Massachusetts, Vermont, North Carolina and Kentucky. Expected completion will be by December 2021.
USAF Global Strike Command chief General Timothy Ray told Air Force Magazine that he wants to have a squadron of modified B-1B bombers that can carry the AGM-183 hypersonic missile on external hardpoints. The B-1B has eight external hardpoints that were designed to carry the AGM-86B Air-Launched Cruise Missile. These hardpoints were covered up except for one on the port side for the Sniper pod. “My goal would be to bring on at least a squadron’s worth of airplanes modified with external pylons on the B-1, to carry the ARRW hypersonic cruise missile,” Ray was quoted as saying. He added that the B-1B test fleet at Edwards Air Force Base will be increased from two to eight aircraft to take some of the “load off the B-52” in hypersonic missile testing. An expanded carriage demonstration on the B-1B was carried out by the 412th Test Wing last year.
Middle East & Africa
The US-led international coalition tasked with fighting Daesh yesterday withdrew from the Abu Ghraib base, west of the capital Baghdad. It has now withdrawn from six locations in Iraq since March 19, when it handed over a position near Al-Qaim close to the Syrian border to the Iraqi military. This was followed by Al-Qayyarah West Air Base in Mosul province on March 26, K1 Air Base near the northern city of Kirkuk on March 31, and Al-Habbaniyah (Al-Taqaddum) Air Base in the western province of Al-Anbar on April 4. CJTF-OIR said all these withdrawals were long planned and reflected the progress that Iraqi forces have made against Islamic State extremists. The coalition will continue to support Iraqi forces “from fewer places, with fewer faces”, according to spokesman Colonel Myles Caggins.
Estonia has signed a technical agreement with Finland and Latvia enabling it to continue to participate in the program to develop military requirements and a platform for a common wheeled armored vehicle, the Estonian Ministry of Defense announced. The agreement was signed by Kristjan Prikk, permanent secretary in the Estonian MoD, who said, “Our primary goal here is to develop a platform that meets the requirements of Estonian Defense Forces with a favorable price.” The MoD added that the platform could be a possible replacement of its older Pasi armored vehicles, a decision on which will be made with the new Estonian national defense development plan.
First-of-class flight trials for Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) MH-60R ‘Romeo‘ maritime multirole helicopters aboard landing helicopter dock (LHD) vessel HMAS Adelaide will begin shortly, the RAN announced on April 7. The trials, which will take place off the Queensland coast, will determine the safe operating limits of the Lockheed Martin-made anti-submarine- and anti-surface warfare-capable helicopters aboard the 27,500 tonne LHD in a range of sea states and wind speeds at both day and night. They will also include aviation facilities assessments, equipment calibration, and evaluation of the interface between a particular helicopter type and class of ship.
The Japanese Ministry of Defense has revealed that it will spend $235 million in fiscal year 2020 on cyber-security-related activities and programs, including the development of an artificial intelligence-based system to counter cyber attacks. This system is expected to automatically detect malicious e-mails and assess the level of threat by resorting to AI technologies, stated the MoD, adding that JPY30 million has already been earmarked for the current fiscal year for the system’s initial design.
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